Stories from Geelong and regional Victoria - How can an editor help me?

If you're interested in knowing how an editor can help improve your manuscript, I've written a blog about it here. I've also explained, with a detailed example, the process of line editing here. 

One of the interesting things about offering services for novel editing in Geelong is how often the local landscape crops up in the fiction I read. While my clients come from different countries, it's a lovely surprise when I recognise place names and settings, sometimes even the odd historical figure from my town’s frontier past - because when clients get in touch, they don't always tell me where they're based! Offering novel editing in Victoria also draws writers from a state-wide landscape, which so far has included a psychopath in Apollo Bay, a 19th Century gold-miner from Ballarat, and a family historical saga set in pre-war Gippsland, to name only three. 

Whatever the focus of a client’s novel, when I write a structural report, I split it into areas of relevance. These can include an assessment of genre, a closer look at characterisation, plot, layout, the ‘show don’t tell’ rule, and a host of other things. Often, it's punctuation (particularly of speech), the suggested addition of decent female characters (which I blogged about here), or changing point of view. Other details include the setting - the physical landscape, for example, can be important to an unfolding story. It can be so much more than simply a backdrop, because landscape can reflect or echo the characters’ states of mind, it can create suspense or a sense of foreboding, or it can be used literally to hide dead bodies. The popular phrase ‘write what you know’ is repeated for good reason… your familiar locale can make a surprisingly good setting.

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